Glazed Lemon Muffins

Glazed Lemon Muffin Recipe
Plate by Roger Baumann. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Tangy and sweet, these lemon muffins are a summertime breakfast favorite. Our family’s love affair with lemon muffins began at the Daily Coffee Bar in Bozeman, Montana. During our years in college, we went there often and almost always ordered the same thing: lemon muffins and a mocha. We loved their lemon muffins so much that I began making them once we moved to New York City when we felt particularly homesick.
This lemon muffin recipe makes a light, lemony and not particularly sweet muffin. The glaze completes the muffin with sweetness and the tart and fresh elements of real lemon juice. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
For light and airy lemon muffins, the trick is to work quickly when mixing the flour into the liquids, mix the ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon and do not over mix. Make sure that the flour is completely incorporated into the liquids, but stop mixing as soon as there are no longer flour lumps in the batter.
Favorite Glazed Lemon Muffins
Plate by Roger Baumann. Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Glazed Lemon Muffins
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon extract
1/2 buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
Lemon Glaze
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, lemon extract, sugar and eggs until just combined (do not over beat). Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture in a few swift strokes to form a smooth batter.
3. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly golden around the edges and a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
4. While the muffins are baking, prepare the lemon glaze by stirring the sugar into the lemon juice until all the sugar crystals are completely dissolved.
4. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove them from the muffin pan and brush them generously with the lemon glaze. Allow them to sit at room temperature to cool completely and soak the lemon glaze.
Makes 12 muffins.

Spiced Pumpkin Scones

Spiced Pumpkin Scone Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
It’s pumpkin time! My favorite time of the year. Pumpkin is the perfect fall vegetable. Delicious and versatile it lends itself to many applications in anything from breakfast to dessert.
I love to sneak pumpkin into my dishes whenever I can, especially in the fall. Sunday morning I made a batch of pumpkin scones that I wanted to share with you. They are moist, light, with a touch of spice and sweetness. Serve them with a little butter and dark maple syrup.
When you make these, keep in mind that this particular recipe will yield a very wet dough that will likely stick to your hands. Don’t get frustrated, the results are worth the mess! If you are new to making scones, take a look at these scone baking tips.
Also, if you love pumpkin as much as I do, try these pumpkin muffins.
Spiced Pumpkin Scones
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, egg, vanilla extract, and spices. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture with a few swift strokes until a loose wet dough forms.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather the dough into a ball. Gently press the dough into a ¾ inch thick disk.
3. Sprinkle the disk with turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Using a knife, cut the disk into 8 wedges.
4. Arrange the wedges ½ inch apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 8 scones.

Childhood Bran Muffins

Raisin Bran Muffin Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Waking up to the smell of fresh baked bran muffins right out of the oven at my grandparents’ home jelled my love of baked goods as a young child. My grandfather, Pito, would get up at five in the morning to meditate. He would sometimes follow his ritual by making bran muffins from scratch. The smell would wake me up with a smile and I would walk over to the kitchen where a basket of muffins was waiting for me.
The gesture of making bread from simple, healthy ingredients impresses me even today as a wholesome act of love and care amongst family. These are the things that stay with you as you grow older and I thank my grandfather for sharing them with us.
This bran muffin recipe is wonderfully versatile and easy to make. It makes a moist muffin that is not too sweet. What is great about this recipe is that it makes a rather large batch (24 muffins); you can make the batter ahead of time and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. So you can wake up, scoop the batter into muffin tins and bake for fresh baked muffins every morning.
The recipe was inspired by the Raisin Walnut Bran Muffins served in Bozeman’s best coffee bar.
Bran Muffins
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup hot water
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
handful of raisins (optional)
handful of toasted walnut (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 24 muffin tins with oil and set aside. Combine the hot water and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Whisk oats, bran, wheat flour, unbleached flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl to blend. In a separate large bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, buttermilk and eggs lightly. Add the hot water mixture and the flour mixture and stir to incorporate.
3. Divide muffins into 24 muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in a rack for five minutes. Serve hot with butter or at room temperature.
Makes 24 muffins.

Corn Bread in a Skillet

Skillet Corn Bread Recipe
When I was fourteen years old, my mom flew out to Rochester, NY to visit me. She stayed in a hotel near Marketplace Mall, and I was going to stay with her for the weekend. My dad dropped me off after work that night. I still remember getting out of his 1980-something light blue Honda Civic. It was cold and wet and he was bundled up with his golfer’s cap and scarf. His work shoes had those rubber covers to protect them from the wet. He got out of the car with me. As I approached the door to the lobby, I could see my beautiful mother there in her gorgeous handmade woolen coat. My dad froze right before we got to the door and said goodbye to me. I was a little confused at the time, but I said goodbye right back and stepped through the glass doors and into the lobby. I looked back as the doors closed. My dad was still standing there. I kept walking and jumped into my mother’s arms.
That night, we had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel and we ordered some cornbread. It was fantastic. My mom and I were so enthusiastic about it that she bought a ‘cornbread’ skillet along with some cornbread mix. Since then, cornbread always reminds me of that awkward reunion and the tender but short moments spent with my mom that winter back in 1986.
The recipe I give you today is one I have enjoyed over many years. I scratched it into brown paper about twelve years ago. Every once in a while I adjust the recipe by adding things like blueberries or cut down on the sugar and add chipotle for a kick. Mostly, I like it just the way it is, served with a little butter and honey. This recipe makes a light and moist cornbread that is on the sweet side.
Corn Bread
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter over low heat in a 9″ cast iron skillet, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, stir the brown sugar into the buttermilk until any lumps of sugar dissolve. Add the egg and vanilla and lightly stir. Then, stir in the cooled melted butter.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and lightly mix until any lumps of flour disappear. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the buttered skillet and bake until golden, about 30 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf.

Zucchini Bread

During this time of year, avid gardeners like Dorthy, my mother-in-law, find themselves with an excess of zucchini. Of the many preparations for this summer squash, her zucchini bread is my favorite. It’s moist and flavorful with a wonderful crust that speaks of home.
This recipe is very easy to prepare. If you have alot of zucchini, make an extra batch and freeze it. This bread keeps very well in the freezer for up to a month as long as you double-wrap it in plastic wrap. Her original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar. I have reduced this to 1 1/4 cups, since I always add chocolate chips that add an extra amount of sweet to the bread. Chocolate chips are optional in this recipe, but it’s an absolute requirement in our family!
Dorthy’s Zucchini Bread
(High Altitude Version – 5000ft)
3 large eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup of chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, blend flour, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.
2. Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, zucchini, sugar and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time and mix until blended. Fold in optional chocolate chips.
3. Pour batter into greased and floured loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf of zucchini bread.